Plastics in our oceans

All studied coastlines have been found to contain plastics, from the polar regions to the tropics, and the waters of Rhode Island are no exception. OSIMAP is a collective of projects, researchers and agencies who are working to better understand the source, fate and impact of marine plastics in the state of Rhode Island and Southern New England.

Did you know? 

Each year, we produce 275 million tons of plastic waste world wide

8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean every year

Plastics have been found in every studied coastline, from the tropics to polar regions

85% of all marine debris is plastic

We estimate  there are 5 trillion floating plastic particles in the surface waters of our oceans

The US recovers less than 10% of its annual plastic production


Improving our knowledge

Rigorous science

Internationally accepted standards in protocols are being followed to ensure comparability with other studies around the world. 

Stakeholder involvement

Our science addresses the concerns of  the stakeholders. Regular meetings between researchers and stakeholders ensure our results have direct impact.

Open data initiative

Our data will be made available on this website as it becomes available ensuring rapid engagement for stakeholders

Keeping you informed

Latest news and articles

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A closer look at the Olympus BX63 microscope

Using our newly acquired fully automated Olympus BX63 Microscope, OSIMAP team members are able to quickly image microplastics in great detail. Many microplastic particles are small, and can be difficult to distinguish from other naturally occurring particles such as...

Microplastic pump-filter development and testing

Written by OSIMAP Coastal Fellows – Cara Megill and Jacqui Roush, undergraduate students at The University of Rhode Island The pump-filter system set up at the University of Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay Campus for testing As Coastal Fellows assigned to the OSIMAP...

Reopening our laboratory under COVID-19

Face masks and cloth coverings are recommended to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, as it has dominated our decision-making process for day-to-day activities during the last few months; participating in scientific field...

Welcome to the 2020 Coastal Fellows

The OSIMAP team welcome two URI Coastal and Environmental Fellows to our program from the Summer 2020 cohort. Cara Megill and Jacqui Roush, who provide a little insight into why they are interested in microplastic research below. The Coastal and Environmental...